(k)erimenopause

One broad's reluctant journey to the dark side of womanhood.

5 Pissy Problems of Perimenopause January 21, 2015

Filed under: Normal Not Hormonal — kerimenopause @ 7:52 pm
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#1  I don’t want a period, period.

Last July I had a period, short and forgettable. September I had another. Then, blissfully nothing. I was delighted to be done, done, done. Then I had lunch with a friend who was complaining about her heavy periods. I was a little arrogant about my 2 periods in six months. She looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Oh, you’ll have another.’ Bitch. She was right. She ordained my period to return. She summoned up the bloody goddess of menstruation. It started the very next day. It has now lasted for six days so far – that’s two days longer than the longest period I have ever had. I don’t want to have my period any more. I have always considered them a pain in the ass (and the uterus) and a huge inconvenience. Well, except for the time or six when I was single and I really, really, really wanted that period to start. Truth is, not only is a period bothersome, I absolutely hate the smell of menstruation. It is vile. It’s what I imagine how rotting waste in the streets of some third world country smell. I don’t want to smell that again, ever.

#2  The sharp moments of mental clarity are great until I can’t remember the name of the person I’m talking about to my best girlfriend.

I pride myself on remembering pretty much everything. Ask my friends from 40 years ago. I can quote them from 6th grade. I can remember high school minutia including who lost their virginity, when, and the names of the deflowering boy. I can remember the near exact words of co-workers who effed me over. I can’t quote movies or remember song lyrics but I can reiterate the exact words my husband used when we broke up back when we were dating, and the words he used to get me back. But, lately, I can be having a conversation and suddenly can’t remember the name of my dentist, or the star of a movie I just saw – even if I’ve lusted over him for years. There’s a very scary early Alzheimer’s thing that happens when your brain turns to mush because your body has decided to mature.

#3  The creative high is amazing. The fall afterwards, sucks.

With or without a period, I’ve noticed for the past two or three years that I have the most amazing creative ideas about a week before when my period is supposed to start. It is rapid fire. I am exploding with enthusiasm and conviction that my ideas are not only great but are going to turn into something otherworldly. Fortunately, I now know to take a lot of notes (see #3). And just as soon as bleeding starts ( or what should be the start of my period) the creativity slowly drains out. With every tampon change, I am literally flushing away all that glitters and was gold. Within a day or two, I am so low that getting off the couch is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. I put on a happy face to get my kid to school and my husband out the door. Then I sink into the couch and into a mini depression. I’m only allotted six to eight hours because I need to pretend to be amazing and on it when son/husband return from their day of mind challenges and social interaction. It’s during this time that I start to question my worth as a woman, a person, a mom, a wife, a friend, a functioning part of normal society. It’s when I start surfing the internet for a ‘real job’ because producing/writing is sporadic at best and I have a big credit card to pay, and a kid to send to college, and dogs that need to go to doggy daycare. What I usually discover very quickly: I’m not really qualified for anything else. At least not anything that will fit into my schedule so I can drive my kid to school, have coffee with a friend, not work out, go to the dog park. Sinking. Further. Into. Perimenopause. Abyss.

#4  These hips don’t lie.

This will be brief. I’ve always had an ass. One I have been proud of. One that has been admired by more than my husband back in the day. What I didn’t have is the flop that rides above my jeans. I wasn’t always stacked like one of those old Fisher Price stacking toys. You know the one that has all the different color rings and you stack them by size. That’s what I see now, only when I’m dressed. Naked, it is more like a weeble. Yes, the ones that wobble but they don’t fall down.

#5  Night sweats vs freezing extremities.

Truth is I hate to be cold. I have hypothyroidism (since 6th grade) so I’ve dealt with the cold fingers, toes and the end of my nose for a long time. Unfortunately it has gotten worse. Even worse than when I was pregnant and I’d sleep in sweats with a scarf wrapped around my head like I just got in from the mid-east. Now I sometimes go to bed wearing yoga pants, a top that wicks away sweat and a hoody… covered with extra blankets that stay tight because I make my corgis snuggle in for the extra body heat. On a good night, the cat sleeps on my head. Sometime in the middle of the night, the dogs are kicked out of bed. The blankets are tossed in a heap between my husband and my overheating body. The yoga pants are stripped off. In the course of a good 8 hours, my husband can experience heat fluctuations that are like traveling from the Arctic to the equator.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “There is no more creative force in the world than a menopausal woman with zest.” I suppose that is true. But no more true than, there is no more frightening woman than one who sees you as the only thing standing between her and the last Oreo. No more true than, the woman who still bleeds is excited to be participating in this personal gift of womanhood. Seriously, and I speak only for myself and the multitude of voices that live in my head, I/we think forty years of a monthly bleed-fest is enough. It sucks. And… it stinks.

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When a ‘slender’ tampon is meant as a compliment February 18, 2014

Filed under: Necessary evils — kerimenopause @ 1:10 pm
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“Are we the last normal, boring couple we know?”  my husband asks after I tell him about another one of our couple friends has hit marital rock bottom.  And when I say another, I mean there have been A LOT.   In the 20+ years we have been together, we’ve watched couple after couple break up, divorce, become roommates, and/or just disappear from our lives as ‘couple friends.’  This has become such a regular occurrence that we are reluctant to become friends with new couples lest we some how influence the end of their marriage.

Save yourself the time speculating that we influence their demise on some weird, kinky level.  This isn’t 1970 and we are not swingers.  We don’t make suggestive invitations to take our ‘friendship’ to some web-cam level relationship.  No, no.  Our big crime is that we are ridiculously happy with one another.  Not only does our kid have parents married to each other,  but he has parents who actually like each other.  On some level, we consider ourselves freaks.

The undeniable truth is this:  Everyone (read: women) loves my husband.  Could this be the reason couples disintegrate before our eyes?

You can ask any of my friends – male or female – about my husband and they will tell you he is ridiculously kind.  This is the guy who will wait on you hand and foot if you visit our home.  He asks every woman he meets a million questions and makes them feel like, well, a million.  And that, my friends, is why I think so many couples we know end up splitting.  It’s my husband’s fault.  After an afternoon with us, women go home and start thinking ‘why can’t my husband be like that.’  In fact, I had a friend tell me once that, “He is the best husband I’ve ever met.  You better take a lot better care of him.”  Was that some kind of threat?  Or what? You’re going to take my man?  Please, whatever I am doing, or not doing, he’s been around for two decades so I think I got this.  Incidentally, it is so weird to get marital advice from a person whose marriage is imploding.

And since I’m already off the subject traveling down a side road, maybe I should just air the dirty laundry about what a rotten person he truly is at home.  Here it is, the ‘worst’ I can come up with.  My husband is a guy

~who begrudgingly agrees to pick up tampons at the store for me.  Then brings home ‘slender’ because he thinks it is a compliment.

~who helps me get ready for a party of 50 (his family) by cleaning the gutters.

~who hears me complain about my weight daily and then offers me Wavy Lays potato chips when I say I’m hungry.

~who wonders out loud, as I walk out the door, if the price sticker or, worse, size sticker on my new jeans should still be on them.

Are there things about him that drive me bananas?  Of course!  My step-daughter asked me one time if there were things about him that drive me crazy and if I ever tell him.  My answer: Yes and No.  Sure he can get on my nerves.  But my theory is this:  If I point out all the little things that bug me, than I am giving him permission to tell me all the things that bug him about me.  And I do not want to open that floodgate!

Truth is, I think there are so many unhappy women out there that I could bottle up my husband and sell him out of the back of my car  like a modern-day Snake Oil Salesman. I’d call it ‘Hubby Hooch.’   I would bedazzle a former food truck.  Hit the road.  Sit in the parking lots of places that hold all those mom’s meetings… after PTA meetings… at soccer fields.  From the loud speaker I could announce: ‘Ladies and women… step right up.  Get your self-sacrificing-loves-your-thighs-no-matter-what-size-they-are-tells-you-you’re-beautiful-every-day-man-right-here-in-a-bottle.’  All the while, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back will be pounding in the back ground…

I’m bringing sexy back
Them other @$%! don’t know how to act
Come let me make up for the things you lack
‘Cause you’re burning up I gotta get it fast

So, are you asking yourself ‘What is the point of this blathering?’  It’s pretty deep and philosophical actually.  I suggest to you today that maybe the secret to marriage is simply saying ‘thank you’ for the slender tampon and realizing sometimes a man’s actions are the words you aren’t hearing.

 

 
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